Six Nations 2024: Ireland 17–13 Scotland – After Overwhelming Valiant Scottish Defense, they Maintain their Title

Ireland secured the Six Nations title by triumphing over Scotland’s valiant defensive performance in Dublin.

During an intense evening, Dan Sheehan’s successful attempt on both ends of two Finn Russell penalties allowed Ireland to take a slim lead at the conclusion of a cautious first half.

Scotland put up a strong defense in the second half, with Tadhg Furlong and Robbie Henshaw both having Irish tries disallowed.

Andrew Porter extended Ireland’s lead, giving them a comfortable advantage, but Huw Jones managed to give Scotland a glimmer of hope towards the end.

Ireland, on the other hand, showed great composure in the final moments to successfully defend their title in an incredibly nail-biting end to their journey.

The outcome also dashes England’s aspirations of wresting the championship from Ireland prior to their showdown against France in Lyon for the tournament’s ultimate match at 20:00 GMT.

England put an end to Ireland’s hopes of achieving a rare back-to-back Grand Slam victory at Twickenham last week. However, by successfully defending their championship title, Andy Farrell’s team solidified their position as the top team in the northern hemisphere.

Tense opening period in Dublin

After a humbling defeat to England, Ireland faced heightened pressure going into Saturday’s match in Dublin. They were determined to secure their sixth Six Nations title, knowing that a win or draw would seal the deal.

However, the strain became evident. Sheehan managed to score a try thanks to a Scotland line-out, but Ireland seemed to lack the necessary intensity and had a hard time gaining momentum against a determined and well-prepared visiting defense. As a result, they went into the break with only a slight lead.

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Although Scotland struggled to apply sufficient pressure on the Irish tryline in the first half, the away team’s defense appeared at ease in handling Ireland’s attacks. This gradually subdued the atmosphere at Aviva Stadium, resulting in a lackluster and cautious opening half.

Scotland arrived in Dublin with high hopes of clinching the coveted Triple Crown, a feat they haven’t achieved since 1990. With Sheehan’s try nestled between two Russell penalties, those hopes stayed alive as the game hung in the balance at halftime.

Following Huw Jones’s late try for Scotland, the game was decided by Andrew Porter’s try

Ireland displayed a noticeable transformation in the second half. With a Crowley penalty extending their lead to four, the crowd erupted in cheers as Furlong forcefully crossed the Scotland line, capping off a relentless Irish offensive.

Unfortunately, the joy was fleeting as the television match official (TMO) determined that the prop had lost possession forward.

As the Scotland defence intensified, Ireland faced increasing frustration in their efforts to establish a comfortable lead. Calvin Nash made a strong charge towards the line, but unfortunately, he was held up and dropped the ball.

Yet another opportunity slipped away as Garry Ringrose’s try was denied due to a handling error in his first appearance of this year’s championship.

In a turn of events, Henshaw’s try was denied by the TMO. However, Scotland’s replacement Ewan Ashman received a yellow card due to a series of infringements. Seizing the opportunity, Ireland managed to secure their much-needed second try as Porter powered his way over the line.

As errors began to appear in a fatigued Scotland defense, and with the sound of the Fields of Athenry echoing through the stands, it seemed that Ireland had managed to secure the victory they were seeking.

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Nevertheless, their journey to success became more challenging when substitute back Harry Byrne received a yellow card for his tackle on Russell.

And as Jones broke through to score Scotland’s only try, Irish nerves intensified once more.

Ireland skipper Peter O’Mahony acknowledges the crowd in Dublin

They were determined to succeed, and despite having to wait for their victory in 2015, they finally lifted the trophy and celebrated on St Patrick’s weekend.

Ireland’s dominance over Scotland continued with their 10th consecutive win. Although the match wasn’t as lopsided as their 36-14 victory in the previous World Cup, Ireland once again proved to be too strong for Townsend’s team.

Although Irish rugby fell short of achieving another Slam, the sport in Ireland is thriving. The team is gearing up for a two-Test series against world champions South Africa in the summer, followed by an exciting autumn programme that includes a rematch with the All Blacks, the team that eliminated them from the World Cup.

Farrell’s upcoming departure from his Ireland role to lead the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia next year means that this will be his final Six Nations until 2026.

However, considering the immense talent within the Ireland squad, it will require a tremendous effort from their competitors to snatch the title from Dublin, regardless of who is leading the team in their quest for a third consecutive Six Nations victory.

Scotland’s Six Nations campaign once again concludes with a sense of disappointment. Despite their dreams of a historic championship victory being dashed by a surprising loss in Rome last week, they came to Dublin with the goal of securing the Triple Crown of the professional era.

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Townsend expressed the need for his team to deliver an exceptional performance in order to defeat Ireland. Although their defensive effort was commendable, they will now have to contemplate what could have been after experiencing two losses following their impressive victory over England.

Irish star Jack Conan celebrates his Six Nations title


Ireland: Larmour; Nash, Henshaw, Aki, Lowe; Crowley, Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong; McCarthy, Beirne, O’Mahony (capt), Van der Flier, Doris.

Replacements: Kelleher, Healy, Bealham, Baird, Conan, Murray, H Byrne, Ringrose.

Sin-bin: H Byrne (76)

Scotland: Kinghorn, Steyn, Jones, McDowall, Van Der Merwe, Russell, White; Schoeman, Turner, Z Fagerson, Gilchrist, Cummings, Christie, Darge, Dempsey.

Replacements: Ashman, Sutherland, Sebastian, Skinner, M Fagerson, Horne, Redpath, Rowe.

Sin-bin: Ashman (65)

Match officials

Referee: Matthew Carley (Eng)

Touch judges: Karl Dickson (Eng) & Christophe Ridley (Eng)

TMO: Marius Jonker (SA)

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